An appeal to two pastors sent today

I decided to just go for it. I am 48 and tired. I think God is on the move to make this appeal now before discouragement sets in.

Let me know what you think.

Reverends Cavin and Pope,

I have appreciated Bob’s kindness in spending time with me as I got introduced to Dallas and Mesquite five years ago. I think I can help the process of evangelism and discipleship among Christians in the area. This belief is due to a journey I believe God has facilitated beginning 15 years ago with my seminary experience at Regent College in Vancouver.

This journey culminated with the opportunity to interview leaders like Tim LaHaye and the son-in-law of Francis Schaeffer, Udo Middelmann.

I know you are likely extremely busy men but also concerned for the moral direction of young people in your church and the area. From my days as student president of Yale Campus Crusade, I was introduced to the controversy over the teaching of evolution and evangelicals’ responses to it. I was also directly made aware of the Great Commission.

This year at Eastfield I have been given the opportunity to teach about the contact of the scientific and religious communities in American life. I also have been in regular contact with Eastfield professors.

The journey I took also put me into contact with atheists who had led the opposition to the introduction of intelligent design theory in the public schools.

I would like to meet you with a time convenient for your schedule to talk about the national controversy and its impact upon relationships among pastors, professors and students in the Mesquite neighborhood. It was the relationships I began to think of when I felt caught between my biology professor and Campus Crusade staff in terms of how to look at the science-religion relationship.

This relational issue is my chief reason for going to graduate school, as I see students caught repeatedly in a national situation not of their making.

As the Great Commission guides our choices as believers, so does the Great Commandment, as I know you hold.

I am asking for a 45-minute conversation to talk about inviting you and other local pastors to a private meeting to talk about the national story and its impact on Dallas neighborhoods and college spaces such as in Mesquite.

I believe we can help each other understand what God is saying to influencers of young people such as us. My goal is not to convert you to my position on science, though if you wish I would be happy to share that with you. My goal is to have a conversation about the relational issues that have arisen as communities have come into contact.

Please let me know if you can meet during your office hours just to talk about the situation students and their parents face. Then later, if you wish to participate, I invite you to a meeting in Mesquite.

Thank you for the consideration,

Josh Abraham, PhD in the history of science from the University of Florida

Adjunct professor of American history at Eastfield College


Hopefully, you will get a response and get to talk with them, but do not be too disappointed if you do not. They may want to hear you, but the reality of their position is that at least 2/3 of their congregation will disagree with them no matter what stance they take, so the safest and ultimately the best thing for their church is to not take a stance, and to say nothing that if quoted would get them in trouble. At least, that is my take on things. It is truly a difficult place to be for pastors, and I think is sad that free and open discussions are not possible in their position.
I count it victory if a pastor will just say that evolution is not a salvation issue, and a variety of interpretations of Genesis are comparable with Christian faith. Perhaps these types of discussions belong more in para-church organizations like ASA and of course BioLogos. Campus groups like Intervarsity also would be a good place to spend time.


It sound like of all of the people I know, you probably have one of the best backgrounds for talking to pastors about the youth–Cru history (I just learned that abbreviation!), Yale background, PhD, working currently with students.

My own church has not been encouraging at all to me about discussing evolution, even in the context of alternatives (eg, “Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design”). It’s hard enough with my own extended closer family and friends (we just had an awkward discussion about going to The Ark). The response from my church is that we have to teach creation our children from the beginning so they aren’t shaken in college. It’s very helpful to remind myself that it’s so hard to see the true arguments about science. However, I do think you have great potential outcomes here: 1) you can teach the pastors and prepare them for that epiphany when they realize that no other approach than accommodation to science will work to help their youth with faith, and 2) you can give us feedback on how to discuss things in our own community with your superior background. I enjoyed your last video, for example. I look forward to your teaching. Thanks.


This topic was automatically closed 3 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.